TED is a non-profit dedicated to ideas worth sharing. If you haven’t watched a TED video before get yourself over to their website and watch some of their videos after reading the rest of my blog.
How to avoid the speaker’s worst nightmare
If you have ever delivered a speech or a presentation, you’ll know that it can be a bit nerve racking. Unfortunately, most unexpected events during a presentation aren’t as colourful or interesting for the speaker or the audience, as in this TED video.
Most problems when doing a presentation are predictable and avoidable. All problems during a presentation can be made better with careful planning. Ok, so maybe you can’t prepare for an ‘Act of God’ interrupting your event, but you can be sure you know where the exits are and what to do in case of an emergency.
– Don’t rely on technology. Prepare printed handouts and your presentation notes on paper. Better still, be familiar enough with your presentation that you could deliver the key messages from your lovely brain.
– Test the technology as early as possible. If you need to hook up your laptop to a projector, test it as early as possible.
– Make a note of the wifi login details and write down the name of the person at the venue who can assist you if some crazy stuff goes down during your presentation, e.g. the lights go out, you can’t connect to the internet or the projector won’t work.
– If you do have a technical problem, get the designated person from the venue or event organiser to fix it, whilst you begin your presentation, adapting the content as required without the visual aids. Don’t waste your audience’s time!
– Stay calm and carry on. If it feels that your world is exploding because something went wrong. Ask some questions of the audience. Better still, set a topic and get them talking in pairs or small groups.
– Pretend. – If you get nervous when giving presentations, pretend that you are someone who loves giving presentations. The power of pretending is underestimated. It’s how this Iowa farm girl managed to teach innercity London teenagers. If I didn’t pretend I was confident, I would never have survived.
– Don’t make the same mistake twice. I have made mistakes when presenting. From speaking too fast, to winging it, to not testing the projector. I have done some stupid things when presenting, but I have never made the same mistake twice.